The term “microcontent” refers to those places where you don’t have a lot of space for words to work with. Article headlines, tweets, email subject lines and Facebook updates are all examples of where you need to create microcontent. And while you don’t have a lot of words to work with, these areas are the some of the most important you’ll write.
Without a compelling subject line or headline, few are going to read the body of your email or article. You have to create “sticky content” in that space that grabs people and lures them in. You want to make them open your email or click on that link.
Here are 4 ways to create that sticky content and get the most of these little tiny places we are being forced to write for:
1. Make the short version work.
Do not cut and paste the exact same thing between Facebook, Twitter etc. You do not have the same space to work with for each medium and they all work in different ways.
2. Include your response words.
Response words like “urgent,” “easy” and “new” get people to react, and you most likely have response words in your own particular field. Be careful you don’t over-exaggerate or sound salesy though.
3. Emphasize the personal value of your content.
Ask yourself “so what and who cares?” Why should your readers open that email? What’s in it for them? Can you convey that value in just a handful of words?
4. Write visually.
You can’t put an image in an email subject line so use more descriptive nouns and verbs as opposed to adverbs and adjectives. Too many words blur the picture especially in tight spaces.
Next week I am hosting a FREE webinar on how to compose better microcontent. Writing Short: How to Write Subject Lines, Tweets, Headlines, Facebook Updates and More will take place Thursday, November 15th at 1:00 p.m. Eastern (10:00 a.m. Pacific). As always the recording will be available for those who cannot participate live, but you have to register in advance to receive it. We’ve already had 300 register so far, so claim your spot now. Space is limited.